Hit-and-run driver blamed for head-on crash of two other cars

UPDATED: DRIVER ARRESTED! Here’s why NE Glisan Street, in the Hazelwood neighborhood, was closed for hours on July 21. This smashup, resulting in ‘life-threatening injuries’, has turned into an assault investigation …

This grinding head-on crash in outer East Portland, seriously injuring three people, was caused by a third driver, as a hit-and-run, officials say.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It seems that no neighbors witnessed the crash between the three vehicles on NE Glisan Street between 113th and 114th Avenues, on Wednesday afternoon, July 21; but several people gathered to look at the wreckage.

Seven Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were initially dispatched to the crash at 4:37 p.m., as were Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) paramedics, and ambulances.

The power rescue gear used by Portland Fire & Rescue crews has cut a victim out of a vehicle. PPB image

Officers cordon off the area along NE Glisan Street, treating this crash as a crime scene, and not just a bad vehicle wreck.

“It didn’t sound like a crash, it sounded like a bomb exploded because my house shook,” said Sue Ling. “There were two badly smashed cars, smoking across the street [on the north side of NE Glisan Street], and it looked like bodies outside a car,” she told East Portland News.

As the investigation was getting underway, a PPB officer said that, based on what he’d heard, a green Honda Civic may have been westbound, and a white Honda Accord was eastbound, when the vehicles smashed together head-on.

Neighbors marvel that any of the victims survived this crash.

The entire front end of this Honda was ripped off during the crash … PPB image

… and landed across the street, in the front yard of a home.

The engine, transmission, and steering gear of the white Honda Civic was ripped off in the crash and flung away, smashing through a wooden fence on the south side of NE Glisan Street, and ending up in a yard.

Later that evening, PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Kevin Allen confirmed that officers found “two vehicles were serious damage, including one whose engine was sheared away.”

After PF&R crews cut the crash victims out of their vehicles, a total of three people were taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Neighbors believe that two men were thrown from this vehicle, during the crash.

“Two of them, both adult males, were ejected from one of the vehicles. They have life threatening injuries,” Sgt. Allen informed. “A driver in the other vehicle, also an adult male, was taken to the hospital with fractured legs.”

Due to the seriousness of the injuries, the PPB’s (formerly members of the disbanded) Traffic Division Major Crash Team (MCT) arrived to investigate.

“Preliminary information is that a third vehicle hit one of the vehicles, and the impact pushed it over the center line and head-on into the vehicle coming the opposite direction,” Sgt. Allen described.

Members of the PPB Forensics Division look at evidence – in this case, at the front end of a Honda that had detached and crashed through a wooden fence.

“The suspect vehicle left the scene before police were called; while no suspect information is being released at this time, Assault Division detectives have been called, and are working with the MCT,” reported Allen.

Vehicle description revealed, investigators ask for help from public
Not long after the crash, PPB Assault Detectives put out this message: Detectives have developed information related to a head-on collision that took place on July 21, 2021. Detectives are looking for a white, 2000 Saturn 200 with Oregon license 594FBF. Detectives believe it may have front end damage.

UPDATE: Driver Arrested
On July 28, 2021, PPB officials announced that the driver who detectives believe intentionally caused a serious head-on crash July 21 has been arrested, thanks to tips from the public.

After the crash, Portland Police Assault Detectives initially ran the license plate of the suspect vehicle, but discovered that it had been purchased and never registered in the buyer’s name.

This is the vehicle investigators say they believe caused the smashup. PPB provided image

After releasing photographs taken at the scene, they received numerous tips from the public that led the identification of the suspect.

Tips from the public also led to the location of the suspect vehicle.

The female seen in the photo, driving the vehicle, switched places with the suspect after he caused the crash, investigators say. She has been identified. PPB provided image

Facing a Felony and Misdemeanor charge is 39-year-old Joshua Dewayne Henry. MCDC booking photo

PPB Detectives and Gresham Police arrested 39-year-old Joshua Dewayne Henry of Gresham; he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:32 p.m. on July 28 on charges of Assault in the Second Degree and Reckless Driving. At his arraignment, Henry learned his combined bail had been set at $252,500; he remains in MCDC in lieu of bail.

“The investigation is still ongoing and there will likely be more arrests,” a PPB official noted. “The Bureau is grateful for all who assisted by sending in information, and to the Gresham Police Department for its assistance.”

If you or someone you know has information about the what happened before, during, or after the crash, or has any video or photographic evidence, or knows anything about the suspect or suspect vehicle – contact Detective Calvin Goldring at Calvin.Goldring@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0256; or Detective Anthony Zoeller at Anthony.Zoeller@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0743.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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